5 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Cocaine

on Friday, 08 August 2014. Posted in Breaking News

5 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Cocaine

When chewed, the leaf of the coca plant gives you a high. This is what cocaine comes from. It is found in Central America, and thousands of years ago, the ancient Aztecs and Incas used it to get their hearts racing and blood flowing as they lived in high mountain regions where the air is thin. These native Americans also used the coca leaf in religious ceremonies to get that high and gain a higher state of mind. This ended in the mid-1500’s when the Spanish invaded. The Spanished controlled the flow of the coca leaf and used it on their enslaved Peruvian natives while they worked in silver mines to better control and exploit them because they had become addicted to it.

Cocaine Has Been Around For Hundreds of Years

Cocaine itself is an extract of the coca leaf, and was first available in liquid form. It was invented by German chemist Albert Niemann in the mid-1800s. And by about 1880, the drug became widely used by the pharmaceutical community. Famous Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud used the drug himself and had his patients use it to cure depression and sexual impotence. He even published a paper in 1884 in which he elaborated on the “benefits” of the drug and it’s “magical” qualities. He claimed that the lethal dose for humans was very high, yet one his own patients died from an overdose.

Cocaine eventually became so popular that celebrities were using it, movies were including advertisements for it, and it was even starting to get used in recipes for popular products, such as…

It Was Once Used In Coca-Cola (Hence The Name)

Coke! The power of cocaine hit its heyday when it was included in the recipe for the popular soft drink Coca Cola by inventor John Pemberton. It’s euphoric and energizing effects helped the drink Coca-Cola absolutely skyrocket in popularity by the turn of the 1900s. However, the dangers of cocaine also were starting to become more apparent to people as well. As the usage of the drug increased, so did the problems that it created. Public pressure forced cocaine out of the making of Coca-Cola by the year 1904.

Snorting Cocaine Has Been Around Longer Than You Think

Around the year 1905, it started to become more and more popular to snort cocaine as opposed injecting or drinking it. Within fives years of this trend starting, hospital documents started to report a spike in cocaine related hospital admissions and deaths. Also, these documents also began to report nasal damage occurring to people who used the drug, such as the tissue in the nose degrading over time from constant cocaine usage.

The Drug Has Been Illegal For Almost 100 Years

In the year 1912, the United States government reported over 5000 cocaine related deaths in the country by itself. The number was probably much higher for the rest of the world. And finally, in the year 1922, the drug was officially made illegal.

In the 1970’s, cocaine made a sudden resurgence into American society as a “fashionable” drug for people like entertainers and people of business. It was what people considered back then (and still to this day) the best ticket to take a ride “in the fast lane”. It provides energy and helps people keep going and going for hours and hours at a time. Between the years 1970 and 1980, the amount of American college students who experimented with cocaine increased ten times over.

By the year 2008, cocaine had become the second most trafficked illegal drug across the globe, most of it coming from Colombian drug cartels.

photo credit: darina via photopin cc

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